Outplayed by Daniil using a similar style to his own, Djokovic came up just short of those two historic milestones, losing 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to first-time major champion Medvedev at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Djokovic was unbeaten for 27 Grand Slam matches in 2021. Whether it was hard ground, clay court or grass, he was undeterred. All he needed was one more victory in the U.S. Open final Sunday against Daniil Medvedev, to complete a season sweep of major titles and to claim the record 21st of his career. However, Djokovic could not come through.
The number one ranked Djokovic endured the burdens of expectations and pressures over the last seven months. He beat Medvedev in the Australian open in February but couldn’t get 28-0 in the US Open Final. He was far from his best on Sunday.
Djokovic reached his record, equaling 31 Grand Slam titles with six other victors but could not get the last one he needed. He stands tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal with 20 major titles.
The last man to complete a true Grand Slam by winning all four titles at the majors in a single season was Rod Laver, who did it twice — in 1962 and 1969. The last female player to accomplish this feat was Steffi Graf in 1988.
Djokovic joined the list of Jack Crawford in 1933 and Lew Hoad in 1956 as men who won the year’s first trio of Grand Slams but lost at the US Open Final.